Twickenham the incentive for Counties

This season's Bill Beaumont Cup gets under way tomorrow with Eastern Counties travelling to Coventry to play Warwickshire in division two of the county championship shield (kick-off 3pm) - with a Twickenham appearance on May 29 the incentive for the group winners.

This season's Bill Beaumont Cup gets under way tomorrow with Eastern Counties travelling to Coventry to play Warwickshire in division two of the county championship shield (kick-off 3pm) - with a Twickenham appearance on May 29 the incentive for the group winners.

Players from the three counties, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, make up the team and the size of the catchment area makes life difficult for manager Ian Forton.

Players from Cambridge, Shelford, Bury St Edmunds, North Walsham and Diss are likely to make up the bulk of the side.

But some players from lower down the league structure could also be represented as Luke Wade (Beccles) and Chris Brown (Wymondham) have been asked to attend while it is hoped that former Walsham front row star Des Brett will make his annual return from Blackheath to make an appearance.


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Warwickshire have a much tighter player base and also have the advantage of having already played two warm-up fixtures.

A new feature this season is the experimental introduction of 'rolling subs, with each team allowed 12 changes, including any blood replacements.

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The experiment follows the 'Bloodgate' scandal, when Harlequins wing Tom Williams went off with a fake blood injury to allow kicker Nick Evans to come back on to the field in order to secure a vital win.

Should it prove successful, it may be adopted at top level.

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